The Caledonian Brewery (with the great slogan: Brewed by men – not machines) located in Edinburgh Scotland is mainly known for the Deuchars IPA – a great IPA by the way – but the brewery also have a wide variety of seasonal brews and each month they invite guest brewers to make their best – and that is not bad.
The Flying Scotsman is one of the spring seasonal brews but it can easely be served all year round. And I must admit it is quite an amazing beer which I can recommend for everyone though it brings a rich flavour.
The style of it is a Scottish Ale even though the brewery has chosen to call it a Ruby Ale. I’ll get back to that in a minute. It holds an alcohol content of 4.6% by volume.
Now the fact that it is called a Ruby Ale is kind of a mystery to me as the colour of the beer when you pour it into the glass is a slightly hazy but very dark brown. Some would call it opaque and it reveals brownish highlights at the base of the glass and along the edges – so why would you label this Ruby Ale?
But enough about colours. The head begins as a densely creamy thick layer of light tan foam, but withers away to just a frothy collar and sparse surface lace. The very fine bubbles remain, however, giving a nice show and adding to the head whenever the beer is swirled. The aroma is bold, wafting from the glass with a lightly fruity (citrus), rich and slightly roasty dark caramel & burnt sugar maltiness that’s backed by a lightly spruce-pine resin hoppiness. Amber and black malt is added to get the maltiness (as read at the website of Caledonian).
The body is medium with a very fine and restrained carbonation that leaves it creamy in the mouth. The flavor mirrors the aroma with some light fruitiness upfront, and rich, dark caramel, licorice, burnt sugar, peaty & smoky maltiness across the middle; all well-backed by hop bitterness. It finishes dry with lingering caramel, licorice, and peat notes. I would love to be able to taste this in a fresh cask through a beer engine. All in all and with the alcohol content of 4.6% by volume, this makes an incredibly rich session beer. An exceptional spring seasonal from Caledonian!